Evotec SE announced that its Seattle-based subsidiary Just – Evotec Biologics, Inc. has entered into a partnership with Ology Bioservices, Inc. (Ology Bio) for the evaluation and analytical characterisation of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. This work falls under a contract awarded to Ology Bio by the Department of Defense Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense Enabling Biotechnologies (JPEO-CBRND-EB) to develop, and manufacture monoclonal antibodies for treatment and prevention of infections with SARS-CoV-2.
This work is supported by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs with funding from the Defense Health Agency.
Under the terms of the agreement, Just – Evotec Biologics will act as a subcontractor to Ology Bio and utilise its in silico toolset to screen a panel of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies provided by Ology Bio that were generated from convalescing COVID-19 patients. Just – Evotec Biologics’ Abacus™ and analytical toolsets will help to filter these antibodies into a smaller set with predicted desirable characteristics for manufacturing and long term storage. Once the final antibody panel has been selected and produced at a small scale by Ology Bio, material will be sent to Just – Evotec Biologics for evaluation of biophysical properties and potential post-translational modifications.
Rapid evaluation of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody candidates will improve the quality of antibody therapeutics selected through this contract and provide confidence to proceed with large-scale manufacturing.
Dr Craig Johnstone, Chief Operating Officer of Evotec, comments: “Antibodies generated from convalescing patients do not necessarily translate into stable, manufacturable biotherapeutics. Applying our in silico approach Abacus™ to narrow down a large set of antibodies to the few candidates with the most preferable development characteristics significantly improves the likelihood of rapidly manufacturing high-quality biotherapeutics.”
“We are pleased to work with the highly innovative and professional scientific staff at Just – Evotec Biologics in our efforts to rapidly produce anti-COVID-19 antibody therapeutics,” says Ron Cobb, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer at Ology Bio.
No financial details of the agreement were disclosed.